Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), has charged contractors handling the 614-kilometer Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano gas pipelines project not to default on the promised July/August 2024 completion deadline.
When the minister visited the project on Thursday, he expressed dissatisfaction with the poor progress and asked Oilserve Limited, the company in charge of segment one, when the project would be finished.
Ekpo said that the AKK project, which was created to bring gas to houses, cars, factories, and electricity consumers in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, and neighboring states of the federation, was essential to the economic growth of Nigeria.
“I appreciate what the contractors are doing. But I want you to know that the prosperity of Nigeria depends on this project because energy is synonymous with prosperity, and when this project is completed we will have energy security in our country; investors can then come in to do business and also create jobs for our citizens,” Ekpo said.
“There will be CNG for cars and LPG will be made available for more homes. Industries and power stations will also benefit from this project. This project holds the keys to the growth of our economy and in fact, we have enough gas for the project,” he added.
Responding, Emeka Okuosa, chairman of Oilserve Limited, said the project would be completed for inauguration between July and August 2024.
Okuosa identified a few of the difficulties preventing the AKK gas pipeline from moving forward, including the unstable security situation in the neighboring Niger State and the right-of-way’s presence of rivers and rocks.
However, he claimed that in order to fulfill the deadline of July/August 2024, the corporation was collaborating with the NNPCL and security organizations to reduce areas of insecurity and make sure contractors worked both during the day and at night.
The minister instructed the contractors to adhere to the July/August deadline while on the visit with Farouk Ahmed, chief executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, senior NNPC officials, and other industry participants.
“The July, August deadline should be sacrosanct and there should be no excuse; that is what we are going to look at,” Ekpo reiterated while appealing to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government, assuring that the economic situation of the country would improve for the benefit of all citizens next year by the time the AKK project and other economic programmes start yielding dividends.